International Master's Program in Curating, including Art, Management and Law
The International MA in Curating Art was founded in 2003, as one of the first curatorial studies programmes in Scandinavia, and has been developed as an ongoing collaboration between Art History (together with the schools of Business and Law) at the university together with prominent art institutions in Stockholm.
These include Magasin III, Moderna Museet and Artipelag, although we work with a broad range of public, commercial and independent organisations who actively contribute to the programme, such that it has become a nexus which reflects, and is in constant dialogue with, dynamic and vibrant arts contexts, both locally and further afield.
Balance of theory and practice
Curating Art was always conceived as embodying an innovative balance of theory and practice which, together with professional competence development within the areas of arts management and law, not only offers preparation for the multifaceted nature of curatorial practice, but also a curator’s shifting orientation as a thinking practitioner and practicing theoretician.
This conjoining has also informed the programme’s emergence as a production platform in itself. Involving collaboration with numerous artists, both emerging and established, giving rise to a yearly programme of exhibitions, seminars and events, as a central part of master’s level study. The voice and contribution of the artist is seen as a crucial aspect of this process and, together with our students’ often cross-disciplinary interests, naturally encourages engagement with expanded notions of curating, with projects taking place on campus and also within a myriad of locations across the city, both within and beyond established arts venues.
New institutional paradigms
The ways in which theory can live a life of its own in practice also inspires the programme and its students to engage with questions of approach to practical production and how exhibitions and related cultural projects can offer opportunities for devising and developing new ways for presenting and embodying knowledge. The critical position of artistic practices, together with the role that academic research can play in cultural production, led the programme to become one of the main initiators of Accelerator, a new public venue for interdisciplinary collaborations between contemporary arts, science and research, due to open on the university campus in 2019. One way to speculate about the future of curatorial practice is to contribute to the creation of new institutional paradigms, and Accelerator is just such a proposition. It is also the latest in a series of initiatives that have characterised the development of this relatively young academic discipline, innovating future potentials in curatorial study and curatorial practice.
Aim of Programme
The international Master's programme Curating Art is a two-year curatorial education established and developed as a joint enterprise between Stockholm University and institutions from the art world. Its full name – Curating Art: International Master's Programme in Curating Art, including Management and Law – reflects the curator’s internationalised, professional role and job market. With this as starting point, we wish to focus on the presentation and understanding of art and art exhibitions, including aspects connected to management, organization, institutional frameworks, and legal issues. The students who join the programme represent a broad spectrum of interests, spanning from new tendencies in contemporary art and curatorial practice, to urgent political issues such as environmental challenges and sustainability. Their interests influence topics for assignments, collaborations, and projects that are developed throughout the two years of studies.
Academic and practice based
Curating Art is in equal shares an academic and practice based education. By merging theory and practice in the courses, the programme stresses the interrelations of these issues. Thus, the courses are integrated with each other in terms of aims and focus. Cognitive aspects from one course reappear in another as a reflective resource. This means that borders are crossed: theory and practice are considered as interdependent in the curator’s work; conceptual ideas are thought of as influenced by experiential, and vice versa.
The programme was initiated by Margaretha Rossholm Lagerlöf, Professor emerita in Art History; David Neuman, Founder and Director of Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art; Bo Nilsson, Artistic Director Artipelag and former Director of Rooseum, Liljevalchs konsthall and Charlottenborg; and Pierre Guillet de Monthoux, Professor and Head of Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at Copenhagen Business School. Their professional width, experience, and engagement continue to have a strong imprint on the programme both through its connections to the art world and in its pedagogical aims and methods.
Guidance of a mentor
The closeness to the art world is emphasised in courses and faculty. Throughout the programme the students meet a great number of curators and other professionals of the art field, through seminars, in recurring workshops on curatorial tools, and through the final examination that consists of the realisation of a curatorial project (combined with an academic Master thesis). Each student has access to the guidance of a mentor, who would be a member of the Steering group or an external curator connected to the programme.
The first year of the programme consists of 7 courses, including a 10 week internship. All courses in the first 1,5 semester combine academic and theoretical studies with practice based exercises. Two courses - Scientific Methods and Research Ethics and English for Academic Research - are mandatory for all students in master programmes at the Faculty of Humanities. In addition to the courses, the students participate in a number of workshops that deepen the understanding of different curatorial tools, such as sound, light, and movement. The first year ends with a 10 week internship in a Swedish or international institution.
In the second year, the students produce their Master examination, consisting of a Master thesis (30 credits) and a curatorial project (15 credits). The thesis is tutored in group seminars with peer review, whereas the curatorial project is tutored by a curator affiliated to the programme. It finalizes in a public presentation, such as an exhibition, at the end of the spring semester and is examined by two curators. The last semester is also open for elective courses (15 credits) at Stockholm University or another university in Sweden or abroad, after agreement of with the course leader of the programme.
Parallel to the courses, the programme arranges extra-curricular workshops and excursions.
Curating Art provides ample opportunity to partake in projects and events that continuously take place in Stockholm’s rich art scene. Thus, we urge the students to prepare for full-time engagement during the two years of education.
For specific information on the mandatory and elective courses in the programme, please see Course description.
Curating Art is a fulltime programme, including both mandatory courses specific for the students in the programme, and elective courses during the second year of study. Some of the electives are also open for external applications. In addition to the courses, the programme and its network of partners provide the students with opportunities to partake in projects and events that take place on the Stockholm art scene.
Curatorship, 7.5 credits (main field of study: Curating)
Scientific Methods and Research Ethics, 7.5 credits (main field of study: Philosophy)
Audience and audiences, 7.5 credits (main field of study: Curating)
Art Management and Law I, 7.5 credits (main field of study: Curating)
Curating – Master’s Course, 30 credits (main field of study: Curating)
Curating – Master’s Course II, 15 credits (main field of study: Curating)
Elective course(s), 15 credits
As their final examination, the Curating Art students produce a Master thesis and a curatorial project, e.g. an exhibition. The curatorial project is supervised by a professional curator. Over a period of 20 weeks, the student produces an individual project that is presented and examined at the University, although it might have another space as its main locus. It is empirically or thematically linked to the Master thesis that is produced parallel to the curatorial project.
How to apply
The current application period closed on January 15. We received a large number of applicants. Out of these we called 30 applicants for interviews, this interveiew process is now completed, and all applicants have been notified.
Applications are to be submitted online via the University Admissions website
Please note: Only one application round! We regret that late or incomplete applications will not be considered.
To complete the application, supporting documentation has to be uploaded electronically or submitted by delivery service/regular post in time for RECEIPT (not date of post mark) by University admissions in Sweden by 1 FEBRUARY 2020 at the latest, please see further instructions in the pdf-file “Application instructions”. Applications lacking the required documentation will not be considered – please make sure that your application is complete, well before the dead lines! Please note that dates for next application period are still preliminary, and may be changed/updated during the fall.
Approx. 8-10 students will be admitted.
For prerequisites and detailed application instructions as well as course details, please see the link/pdf-file below!
Application Instructions (42 Kb)
Please note that all supporting documents in the application must be issued in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English. Documents that are not issued in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English must be translated into either Swedish or English
For foreign applicants, further general information on studies at Stockholm University is available here.
For further information about the program, please send an email to: email@example.com, or call the programme coordinator, Birgitta Trobrandt Åkerström, Phone: +46 (0)8 16 19 74 (by appointment).
The programme is working close to contemporary art institutions in and around Stockholm. They provide opportunities for internships, contribute with mentors in the programme, and generate extended networks to the students.The exhibition space Accelerator is situated right next to the Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
These institutions mirror different aspects of the art field, stretching between publically funded museums and artists’ spaces, private Kunsthalles, commercial galleries etc. Although the programme has an extensive network and wide array of collaborations in and beyond Stockholm, some of its most frequent partners are:
Studies in Curating Art
Since 2014, the publication series “Studies in Curating Art” has been focusing on curatorial research and on the connections between curatorial theory and practice, within the frame of the international Master’s program in Curating Art at Stockholm University.
Each issue of the annual publication is self-run by the students enrolled in the Publication Elective Course at SU. It is edited around a selected theme and, since 2018, has been realized in collaboration with graphic designers and institutions for education and graphic design.
Subject Board in Curating at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics.
The Steering Committee consists of scholars at Stockholm University and people from prominent art institutions in Stockholm.
Meet our teachers
Here are the teachers at the Programme: Faculty of Curating Art.
Meet our alumni
Waheeda Baloch, class of '11
–When I applied for the programme, I was basically an artist and art educator. I had a fine arts degree and was teaching at the Institute of Art & Design before coming to Stockholm, but didn’t know about the wide field of curating art that I was introduced to through the Master’s programme at Stockholm University. Curating in Pakistan needed to develop a lot and we still don’t have any institutions where one can get such specialized degree.